After finishing second overall in the first two seasons of SailGP, the Japan SailGP Team has been removed from the third season line-up. Here’s the official statement from the league:
After much deliberation and taking into account logistical and commercial considerations, SailGP has made the difficult decision to pause the participation of Japan SailGP Team indefinitely.
The league would like to thank Nathan Outteridge and all of the athletes and staff involved in the Team for their outstanding performance in the first two seasons of SailGP and wish them all the very best for the future.
Season 3 will continue with nine teams racing for the remainder of the season.
When SailGP was established in 2018, the global sports league had a five year plan for all teams to be independently funded. The initial investment by billionaire Larry Ellison was to get the ball rolling, but the clock was started for teams to become commercially sustainable.
Two new teams – Canada and Switzerland – were included in Season 3, and when it came time to source their equipment, the league was missing a boat. As these two teams were self-funded, the solution was to take a boat from an underfunded team.
Canada got the Japanese boat, with Outteridge’s team to sit on the sidelines for the first three events of Season 3, as their boat was anticipated to be ready for the fourth stage of the 11-event season.
There was a plan to give them average points for the missing events, and while Outteridge was disappointed, he saw the big picture. “It’s not just about racing on the water – it’s about making the teams commercially successful,” he said. “We haven’t got the financial backing we need to be on the start line (in Bermuda).”
With the decision now to remove the team from the season, it is likely that financial progress was not occurring, and the league was not willing to invest any more money into the team.
Four of the ten teams that were to start Season 3 are self-funded: Canada, Denmark, and Great Britain, and Switzerland. While the progress for the other teams is not known, the Japanese team is now a commercial casualty, joining the Chinese team that did not return after Season 1.
SailGP information – Plymouth details – Season 3 scoreboard – Facebook – How to watch
Season Three Standings (after two events)
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby – 20 points
2. Canada, Phil Robertson – 17 points
3. Great Britain, Ben Ainslie – 17 points
4. New Zealand, Peter Burling – 12 points
5. Denmark, Nicolai Sehested – 12 points
6. France, Quentin Delapierre – 9 points
7. United States, Jimmy Spithill – 9 points
8. Spain, Jordi Xammar – 8 points
9. Switzerland, Sébastien Schneiter – 4 points
2022-23 SailGP Season 3 Schedule
May 14-15, 2022 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 18-19, 2022 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31, 2022 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 18-19, 2022 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 9-10, 2022 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 23-24, 2022 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía – Cádiz
November 11-12, 2022 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
January 14-15, 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
February 18-19, 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 17-18, 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7, 2023 – United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)
Format for 2022-23 SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000 prize money to be split among the top three teams.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
For competition documents, click here.
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans for event prize money as the season culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.